keep one's distance


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keep (one's) distance

1. To maintain physical distance between oneself and someone or something. Keep your distance, everyone. There is a downed wire here. He better keep his distance from that bear.
2. To limit engagement or association (or the appearance thereof) between oneself and someone or something. Politicians have been quick to keep their distance from the senator ever since news of her scandal broke.
See also: distance, keep

keep one's distance

Stay away; also, remain emotionally remote. For example, It's wise to keep one's distance from any wild animal, or Since the family argued with him, Harry's been keeping his distance. [Late 1500s]
See also: distance, keep